Paul R. Lehman, Some Oklahoma Republicans biased hypocrites

October 23, 2010 at 7:07 pm | Posted in American Bigotry, American Racism, Bigotry in America | 1 Comment
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A recent article in The Oklahoman stated “Congress members defend stimulus-funding letters.” Under ordinary circumstances this headline would not be of great concern except for the fact that not a single Oklahoma Republican member of Congress voted for the stimulus. To add insult to injury, during the last presidential election all seventy seven Oklahoma counties voted against Obama. So, what the problem? The problem involves principles, practical knowledge, and prejudice.

One of the reasons given by these congress people for voting against the stimulus bill was that it would add to the national debt. The claim that Obama was spending or planning to spend so much money that it would place a financial burden on their grandchildren was not acceptable to them. So, it was a matter of conservative principle s to reject this spending bill. Yet, here they are writing letters to federal agencies requesting money from the stimulus fund.

Another reason for the vote against the stimulus bill was that it would hurt the private business sector; it would put them out of business. One congresswoman, Mary Fallin, a staunch critic of Obama and the stimulus, according to the article, “wrote letters to the Transportation Department in regard to road improvement funding sought by Edmond [Oklahoma].” Why would she do this? The answer is because the stimulus money would allow Edmond to hire a private company to do the job. The company would then hire workers to do the work. In essence, the stimulus money would be doing the very thing that it was designed to do, but was rejected by these congress people because they said it would hurt the private business sector.

Once the stimulus bill was passed, many congress people who voted against it began to try and take advantage of it. One of the reasons for the change in attitude given in the article shows Senator Jim Inhofe saying that “it is his job to work on behalf of the taxpayers of Oklahoma to ensure that some of those federal funds are returned to Oklahoma for worthwhile projects.” Evidently, those projects were not worthwhile enough for him to vote for the fund initially, but after it was passed; why not take advantage of it.

Another reason for the congress people rejecting the stimulus bill was that it would destroy jobs. They said that the private sector would not be able to create new jobs. That philosophy makes little sense when we realize that all the money requested by the congress people will of necessary go to the private sector because the private sector businesses will be contracted to do the jobs. Most of this business will of necessity hire people to do the work needed to do the job. So, where is the logic in the thinking that the stimulus money will hurt the private sector businesses, and destroy jobs when the opposite is true? The article noted that “Most of the letters written by Oklahomans were on behalf of local governments applying for transportation or broadband Internet grant funding.” One need not guess who would do the work on those jobs. The simple fact is that for these congress people knowing how the stimulus bill would work is just practical knowledge. Why they voted against the bill was their way of following their leaders and not thinking for themselves and their constituents.

With national conservative figures like Rush, Glen, and Newt all clamoring for Obama to fail, what’s a good conservative to do but vote against anything Obama offers even if it benefits their constituents? To say that their actions were just political would not be fair to these congress folks; they are prejudiced against Obama. For example, John Sullivan, R-Tulsa made the statement, “Let me be clear, this is our money, and I will always fight to ensure our Oklahoma tax dollars stay in Oklahoma instead of being shipped off to the other 49 states.” One concern regarding this statement is what would have changes if he had voted for the stimulus instead of against it? One would think that he would have supported the bill if he wanted to fight for money going to Oklahoma. These reasons offered by the congress people are simply not practical because they support only a selfish prejudice mindset.

Tom Cole, R-Moore, in justifying his vote states that “If money is going to be spent (from stimulus programs), Oklahomans should be allowed to compete for it.” The problem created by those congress people who voted against the bill and now wants to participate in it is one of integrity, principles, and values. The Center for Public Integrity according to the article obtained copies of the letters from congress people who strongly opposed the stimulus bill requesting funds from various federal agencies. They said that “Among the letters are ones from Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Tulsa, Reps, Cole; Mary Fallin, R-Edmond.” The name of John Sullivan, R-Tulsa, was also included. A letter was also received from Dan Boren, D-Muskogee, but he supported the bill.

The obvious reason for these congress people voting against the stimulus bill was to try to destroy President Obama’s plan to stimulate the economy. Fortunately, their efforts failed, and now that they see the stimulus is working they want to take part in it. Some people would describe their actions as those of a hypocrite. The dictionary identifies a hypocrite as “a person who pretends to have virtues, moral or religious beliefs, principles, etc., that he or she does not actually possess esp. a person whose actions belie stated beliefs.” That definition seems to fit the congress people very well.

No one is saying that legislators cannot change their minds when something important that affects their constituents is brought to the table, but these people voted against Obama and used the bill as an excuse to cover their biases. So, let us call them what they are—hypocrites, and biased ones at that.

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  1. Right on!

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